It’s been a rough season for Jim Johnson and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any easier. The relief pitcher, who was cut loose by the A’s a few days ago after a very rocky couple months in Oakland, will reportedly not sign a contract with the Baltimore Orioles after working out for the team.
Johnson had hoped to return to Baltimore to resurrect his career after his disastrous tenure in Oakland. The right hander pitched 40 1/3 innings for the A’s, posting a brutal 7.14 ERA. The pressure of his $10 million free agent contract seemed to weigh on him, and the money certainly didn’t help his relationship with fans, who booed him mercilessly.
The former Orioles pitcher hoped to return to the place where, for two seasons, he was a dominating closer. But Baltimore is going to pass after watching Johnson work out. Horrific outcome for a guy whose career has gone off the rails with startling speed.
My advice for Johnson would be to step away from the game for a little while and recharge. He should hit the beach somewhere and just chill out, come back strong next spring and try to catch on somewhere. He had two fifty save seasons in Baltimore, so someone will sign him.
You know how relief pitchers are though. They dominate for a couple years and then just vanish. Johnson may very well be done. There aren’t a lot of Mariano Riveras out there.